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Author Martz, Chris D
Title Production of onset consonant clusters/sequences by adult Japanese learners of English
Descript 127 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 68-03, Section: A, page: 0980
Adviser: Raquel T. Anderson
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Indiana University, 2007
English language difficulties encountered by adult ESL learners have been well documented, and the extent of and reasons for such problems have been the impetus for a variety of theories about second language (L2) acquisitional processes, as well as comparisons with established first language (L1) principles. The concept of interlanguage (Selinker, 1969; Corder, 1971) attempts to explain L2 idiosyncrasies and changes that are observed as a language learner progresses toward greater L2 competency. It is generally agreed that interlanguage can be influenced by L1, L2, and/or universal/developmental language factors to varying degrees over the time of increasing competence. The purpose of this study was to record the productions of onset consonant clusters/sequences in words by adult ESL learners (a structure not found in the learners' L1), and determine if/how the data conformed to relevant L1/L2 factors and specific universal principles
Forty native Japanese adults were asked to participate in this study. This population was chosen because East Asian ESL learners in general are particularly interesting to study in terms of acquisition because their native languages (L1s) are strikingly different from English. Participants had to pass a hearing screening to participate, and were tested to determine their phonetic inventories. They were then given an experimental task in which they had to produce words containing onset clusters/sequences---half the words were elicited with orthography, half with pictures for identification
Descriptive statistics, t tests, and correlations were used to determine relationships in performance among the various types of clusters/sequences. From these relationships, factors were uncovered that were influencing the interlanguages of the participants. Two general findings were discovered. First, when performance did not conform to universal patterns of language acquisition, L1 influence was the major factor that accompanied such non-conformity. Second, influence on the interlanguage often cannot be narrowed down to a single factor; rather, arguments can usually be made that multiple factors are at work in the shaping of interlanguage. Discussion summarizes how the performance of the participants both does and does not conform to specific universal language principles, and what factors are likely influencing such performance
School code: 0093
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 68-03A
Subject Education, Language and Literature
Language, Linguistics
Education, Adult and Continuing
Alt Author Indiana University
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